Most new businesses operate on a very limited budget, which makes mounting a major marketing campaign an unaffordable expense. One solution for marketing your business for little or no cost is through public relations efforts. Public relations coverage can, in fact, be some of the best advertising you can get for your small business. Media outlets typically have a very large audience, enabling you to get the word out about your business to a lot of people. You don’t have to hire an expensive public relations firm. There are plenty of public relations efforts you can handle all on your own.
Send Out Press Releases Regularly
Sending out press releases about your business on a regular schedule is one way to get free media coverage. Every announcement you put out there probably won’t get picked up, but the odds are good that some of them will get released. You can increase those odds by submitting your press releases to other potential news outlets besides just your local newspaper and radio and television stations. Don’t overlook submitting releases to niche outlets such as trade journals related to your industry. You can also search online for sites that publish news and information related to your business, and direct press releases to them. Virtually any newsworthy event that occurs in regard to your business can provide material for a press release. Have you added a new employee? Are you expanding your product line? Has your business reached a milestone in terms of number of sales, revenue earned, landing a prestigious client, or opening an additional location? Any or all events can be a legitimate reason to issue a press release.
Establish Yourself as an Expert
Getting recognized as an expert authority can open all kinds of public relations opportunities for you, such as being interviewed on radio or television for news or special interest shows. Perhaps you qualify as an expert by having certain skills or knowledge, but if nothing else, you can speak authoritatively on the subject of operating a small business. Put the word out, in the form of a brief letter or email offering your services as an interview guest or information source, along with a brief bio that details your experience and qualifications. You can boost your recognition as an authority simply by writing a blog on your company’s website. Over time, just the fact you’re writing about a certain industry on a business website offers you some credibility as an expert. It doesn’t hurt that regularly publishing new content on your website also helps advance your ranking in search engines. News outlets often search for authorities as news sources when they’re doing stories. You can find out what they’re looking for by signing up with a service like HARO (Help a Reporter Out) that sends you three emails daily about stories for which reporters need material. As soon as you see one related to your business, consider responding by offering a quote or your services as a source for information about the topic.
Do Videos on YouTube
Another strategy you can use is publishing information about your business and your industry on YouTube. There are a number of free video editing software programs, such as Windows Movie Maker or LightWorks, that you can use to produce professional-quality videos. YouTube videos don’t have to be lengthy; the most popular ones generally don’t run any longer than five or 10 minutes. You can put together “how to” videos for using the products your business sells, along with uploading general information videos about your industry. Public relations efforts offer a great way to advertise your new small business without spending a lot on marketing. Think about free or low-cost ways to publicize your company, and take advantage of them with just a little time and effort.